Just like a page from Herman Melville’s Moby Dick. The northwest is known for whale watching, of all kinds. If you are lucky enough to see one of these majestic creatures, congratulations. When our son was younger, we attempted whale watching twice, with no luck seeing a whale. We fell into that 1-3% that go on whale watching trips and see nothing.
The White Whale at Deception Pass
We traveled to the Olympic Peninsula to Port Townsend WA which is the gateway to whale watching waters. Native to the waters are Orcas, Gray Whales, and migrating white Beluga Whales. Catching a ferry from Port Townsend to Whidbley Island, along with our Subaru, we then drove to a place called Deception Pass. Named by George Vancover who was deceived by the waters surrounding the peninsulas and islands in the area while looking for passages for commerce. As we stood on the bridge towering 180 feet over the water, Eric said jokingly “look a whale,” and wouldn’t ya know it there was something swimming in the cold waters. Best we could tell, it was a white beluga whale ‘summering’ in the warmer waters of Deception Pass, YES.. we’ve seen the white whale!
However the history of this area not so pleasant, in 1880s the In the waters of Deception Pass, just east of the Deception Pass Bridge, is a small island known as Ben Ure Island. The island became infamous for its illegal of smuggling illegal Chinese immigrants for local labor. Ben Ure, and his business partner were the heartless business men that profited from human trafficking. If U.S. authorities got too close, they would put Chinese immigrants into burlap bags and throw them into the quick currents at Deception Pass and many of these innocent immigrants ended up in what became known as Dead Man’s Bay. Another sad story from the pages of northwest history.
The islands and waterways of the area are breathtakingly beautiful. With fog moving in and out, the scene changes constantly. We were lucky enough to be there on a beautiful day with temps in the high 60’s. As a local man put it, “it doesn’t get any better than this. ”
We’ve seen the white whale!
Eric and Lori Malcolm